Wayne State College built a double-digit lead in the first half, then held off a late St. Cloud State rally to hang on for a 77-76 victory over the Huskies Sunday evening in the quarterfinals of the 2019 NSIC Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament played at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. The win snapped a 12-game WSC losing streak to St. Cloud State dating back to 2011 and improves the Wildcats to 21-9 while St. Cloud State is now 22-8.
St. Cloud State jumped out early taking a 10-4 lead.
With the Huskies still holding a 15-11 lead at the 14:33 mark, Wayne State went on 18-3 run over the next 5:27 and took their first double digit lead at 29-18 following a Trevin Joseph 3-pointer with 9:06 to play first half.
After the Huskies got within seven at 33-26, WSC scored the next six points and took their initial 13-point lead of the half at 39-26 following a Vance Janssen steal and layup at the 5:19 mark.
The ‘Cats sustained a double-digit lead for much of the remaining 5:19 of the half until a Gage Davis 3-pointer at the buzzer cut the Wildcat lead to 48-39 at intermission.
With WSC holding a 58-49 lead at the 13:14 mark, the Huskies got within three at 58-55.
The ‘Cats led 64-59 with 6:39 to play, then pushed the lead back to 10 at 69-59 following a Trevin Joseph 3-pointer with 4:10 remaining.
St. Cloud State cut the deficit to two at 75-73 with six seconds remaining. Senior Vance Janssen was fouled and canned two charity tosses with 5.4 to play giving the ‘Cats a 77-73 lead.
Gage Davis for the Huskies sank a 3-pointer with 1.8 left to make the score 77-76. Kendall Jacks then inbounded the ball to Nick Ferrarini who threw the ball into frontcourt to allow time to expire and give Wayne State the thrilling win.
Kendall Jacks led four Wildcats in double figures with 20 points along with nine rebounds. Trevin Joseph followed with 19, Vance Janssen scored 11 and freshman Jordan Janssen recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Wayne State was 29 of 63 from the field for 46 percent, going 6 of 14 from the arc and 13 of 19 at the foul stripe.
Gage Davis was the lone double digit scorer for St. Cloud State with 47 poiints.
The Huskies made 30 of 62 shots from the field for 48.4 percent, including 8 fo 25 from the 3-point range and 8 for 12 at the stripe.
WSC held a 38-30 advantage in rebounding over the Huskies thanks to 11 boards from Jordan Janssen and nine by Jacks.
The ‘Cats had just nine turnovers in the game. Vance Janssen had four assists and is now fifth all-time at Wayne State with 285.
Wayne State now faces Southwest Minnesota State Monday evening at 8 p.m. in the NSIC Sanford Health Tournament semi-finals at the Sanford Pentagon.